Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly – SPOILER Thoughts/Critiques

mainDone Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly! Man I am on a ROLL with finishing my second vita otome game already damnnn (but I think I’ll be taking a short break after this one). To be honest, the portability of the vita for games like VNs is perfect.

Before I go further, I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU TO ILINOX (from her game posts here & CD posts here) who essentially translated the entirety of the game on her blog. Without her posts, I would never have been able to experience, play and understand this Japanese otome game. Thank you, thank you, thank you (I love you)

Before I get too mushy with the gratitude haha, I’ll delve right into some quick spoiler thoughts I had of the game. This isn’t a review or anything, so this shall be pretty informal (you have been warned!) SPOILERS GALORE:

SPOILER ALERT WOOOOOOOOOOO

I think the game had a terrific start. I was immediately drawn into the game with its mysterious and dark atmosphere. I was just as lost as the heroine at the start and I loved that feeling.

My absolute favourite part of the game is (hands-down) the reveal behind Hikage’s true identity. MAN OH MAN. I was sitting on the bus when it happened and I literally just looked up and out the window with my mouth wide open (in shock). I was that surprised, IT WAS FABULOUS BC I DIDN’T SEE IT COMING (I was like Hikage!?!? I TRUSTED YOU!?!?! HOW DARE YOU!??). His voice acting during this was brilliant too, LIKE DAMN

BUT I was a bit disappointed with where the story went after that great turning point, which is a darn shame considering how strong the game was at the beginning.

I think one of my biggest disappointments was the “reveal” behind Ai’s “sin”. Of course, I sympathize that one would feel guilty over wanting the group to explore the mansion – indirectly leading to Natsuki’s death. I also understand why the guys were hesitant in telling the truth to Ai because she would feel guilty. However, with the way they were constantly building up towards Ai being kept from the truth, naturally I was amped up to know what she did. And the way it was “revealed” was a total let-down as I thought it would have been something more gut-wrenching?? This sounds horrible, but I wish she had a worse part to (inadvertently) play in the tragedy to give it more weight??

Considering all the intriguing imagery the game had (namely the butterflies yes), but I mean look at the cover art for the game here:

front cover

Regular Edition – Cover

I guess I was expecting a bit more? I mean, what time period did Hikage and Usagi live in? Taisho era maybe? Considering the symbolism (like that umbrella thing… sorry I can’t remember what it’s called!), it would have been nice to know more about the historic era that they were from. Also, I would have liked to learn about more of Hikage’s lies. Yes his biggest lie was telling Usagi “Everything is okay”. But I wanted to know more about his other lies. Mainly I just wish they integrated their time period more into their backstory.

Furthermore, I’m starting to realize I dislike info dumps when revealing backstories – where the characters conveniently tell them to the main character. I honestly would like backstories to be revealed in more unconventional (??) ways, but that might just be me being nit-picky OTL

Moving on to favourite characters! My faves in order would be:
Monshiro => Hikage > Karasuba > Yamato > Kagiha

Once again, I can’t decide whether I like Monshiro or Hikage more. I always try to stick with only one bias per game, but ………. ARGH I think I’ve become more indecisive lately. To be honest, I think Monshiro may be top bias in the end, but Hikage is a veryyyy close second.

I definitely think the game’s strongest point was its characters. While the plot had an excellent start, I wish it used up all the potential it began with. But I digress. Let’s just jump right into these lovelies haha:

Yamato WallpaperYamato – Is it bad that I liked his kid version more than his present version? Maybe because he was more obvious in his crush towards Beniyuri (still obvious though LOL). Don’t get me wrong, I still liked the guy. He just got a tad too angry too often for my liking. He is self-aware though and honestly he’s just a big fluffball ❤

I also didn’t like how Beniyuri had to keep their hiding spot a secret. Not gonna lie, I was really peeved with Beniyuri where she spent a lot of days not going to see Yamato (because Hikage found out and wouldn’t let her). Yes she made a promise not to tell anyone, but STILL if you’re forbidden for that many days and considering Yamato’s instability at the time, telling the truth should be a given at that point (imo). Seeing the inevitable downfall for Yamato’s bad end left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. At the same time, it is a bad end after all, so I’m okay with it.

Karasuba WallpaperKarasuba – Man what a S U R P R I S E. I’m shook that I ended up liking him as much as I did. He’s a very smart character with how perceptive and observant he is. His frequent “princess” references of his past gave me Himeutsugi flashbacks though haha. But I think he was the most suited for the theme of moving on and change. I adoredddd how he always says these flirtatious or vows of love, that are always followed up with a “juuuust joking” (Oh Karasuba, we all know you’re telling the truth… and what I like is that he says these things knowing/hoping that Beniyuri takes them seriously too).

And what’s more, if Beniyuri follows up with his flirtations and doesn’t turn away in embarrassment, HE’S the one who gets flustered. He treasures Beniyuri/Ai so much above all and yes he’s persistent/pushy in his love for her, but he does know when to back off. IDK MAN, I really liked him. P.S. His another ending drama CD track had me blushing so much. LIKE KARASUBA PLS

Kagiha WallpaperKagiha – Hmm I honestly have mixed feelings towards him. Yes I felt sooo bad for the guy cause he’s no longer alive and he died being selfless.

I still wish he had two endings though, like some of the others. Yes he’s dead, but I think there was some more angst potential if they had another end where (for example) they try bringing him to the other side, and then find out that he can’t remain in his dead body and dying in the real world. YES I KNOW THAT’S HORRIBLE, but I think something like that would have been an excellent false happiness that’s instantly pulled away.

I thought his childhood marriage promise was cute, but eventually, his whole character almost boiled down to that one promise (which yes I get because he hasn’t been able to move on… but I couldn’t help wanting a bit more resonance with his route beyond that). I think the main reason he’s my last fave of the guys (still really really like him though) was how he acted towards the end of Monshiro’s route. Thank goodness he came through as a whole. I still feel sorry for him though.

Monshiro WallpaperMonshiro – From the first moment he spoke, I was done for LMAO. His voice is the CUTEST THING EVER. The way he always tries to snuggle and gets superrrr close to Beniyuri (what is personal space), just had me squealing. I loved his mini scene where he was trying to get Karasuba to stop bullying Beniyuri… I loved all his scenes. Whenever he asked, “I can’t?” in like the MOST ADORABLE HESITANT VOICE, I’m just left in a puddle of goo.

It broke my heart learning that he withstood 10 years of absolute loneliness since he felt the strong desire to return the ribbon to Beniyuri. He definitely could have avoided all that pain and misery by simply remaining with Kagiha and Hikage. However, I liked seeing that highlighted difference between him and Kagiha. While Kagiha threw away his ideals and his selfless nature for his goals (again I still feel sorry for him), Monshiro stuck to his ideals. He stayed true to himself and that’s pretty awe-worthy. I admit tears were shed during that scene on the right. HE’S SO PRECIOUS AND LOVABLE AND SACRIFICIAL AN D

Hikage WallpaperHikage – UM CAN WE TALK ABOUT HIKAGE’S ENDING!? EXCUSE ME. HOW DARE THEY END IT LIKE THAT (I cried… thankfully I was home when I played his ending).

ALSO THIS MAN’S CHARACTER SONG. I loved all the character songs, but his chara song makes me feel like crying all over again.

Ahem, Hikage’s route was great (and he’s such a mother hen, I love it). And Beniyuri’s persistent “getting to know Hikage” questions scenes were so hilariously cute. However, I found it kind of strange how all the other guys sorta disappear when it comes to his route. Like when Beniyuri returns to life, what about the others?

What I mainly don’t understand is that while Hikage and Usagi essentially die and pass onto the afterlife, how is it possible for them to be their ages again in the end scene above? Shouldn’t they have been reborn as babies at the point Beniyuri sees them?

Hikage’s true face (or more like his true eyes) were never revealed – not even in the very end of the game in the last CG (which is a darn shame). But in the CG below that appears after the Best End, you can kinda see that Hikage’s eyes are purple in his original picture… which confuses me. Is he Kazuya’s look-alike after all, according to this CG??

hikage face

Hikage your eyes still look purple

Moreover, I wish there were sprites for the kid versions of these guys. A large majority of the game’s scenes revolved around these childhood memories and after a while I got kinda tired of staring at that same park background for scenes at a time lmao. This is just a minor pet peeve though.

The music was great! But I guess I’m selfish in wishing there were more tracks. There were very little (was it 21 tracks?), so after a while, the songs lost their novelty after being repeated during a lot of the scenes near the end of the game. The OST was real nice nonetheless.

I thought the art was nice too! I really liked how every character had their own colour motif and everything was so colourful & pretty as a whole. Sure there were some inconsistencies here and there (like the CG below for example)… and sure I wish the CGs weren’t repeated in the CG gallery…. YET it was still lovely.

natsuki

Heartwarming scene… but Natsuki is your hand okay

Overall, despite its faults here and there, it was a nice game! I guess I’m just coming to realize again & again how Fatamoru has truly spoiled me in what I expect of VNs now. I’m 100% sure that I would have loved this game 10x more if I had played it before Fata. I think I subconsciously compare every VN I play to it now oops (I know, not really fair OTL). I still really liked Psychedelica though and greatly enjoyed the experience! Now I just need closure for Hikage’s ending (please Otomate)

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2 thoughts on “Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly – SPOILER Thoughts/Critiques

  1. THANK YOU for having been deceived by Hikage as well LOL. Most of my friends seemed to have expected it or called it and so they weren’t shocked like I was. I had to pause the game and look out the window when the reveal happened for me T_T I was also feeling furious about myself for not seeing it when I MADE A DUMB THROWAWAY COMMENT ABOUT HOW KAZUYA SOUNDED LIKE MONSHIRO DURING THE FIRST PROPER FLASHBACK. Why didn’t I follow up on that train of thought!?

    I’m noticing that our biases are almost in the opposite order |D. I have Hikage > Yamato > Kagiha > Karasuaba > Monshiro.

    I agree that a minus point for Black Butterfly is the pacing near the end. They dragged out Beniyuri’s angst for so long that I started to get fed up. And while I understand that everyone wanted to protect her, the secrets were being dragged on for SO long. UGH. (That part where she hid Yamato’s location from the others was also ARGH.)

    Funnily, I don’t like tsunderes so I’m surprised Yamato is so high up in my list. It’s probably because I love his theme about mutual survivor’s guilt and overcoming that and moving forward, even with scars. As long as you keep moving forward you’ll get to where you need to go :’D. Huh, now that I think about it, most stories I like seem to revolve around that, woops. (It’s the theme of the LN I’m translating too).

    Karasuba… I honestly don’t know what I think about him. I like him? But also feel nothing at the same time. I think he provides another interesting look at moving on but hmm…

    Kagiha. MIXED FEELINGS JUST LIKE YOU. I think you nailed it when you said that his character boils down to the childhood marriage promise which makes him feel kind of flat. I actually loved his descent into selfishness in Monshiro’s route and his end because I think that gave his character type a needed jolt, otherwise he would just be boringly Mr. Perfect LOL. I actually remembering going into this game groaning at his character because he was like the 7th Toriumi character (HE’S IN EVERY GAME I SWEAR) but wow Toriumi did so good here?!

    Monshiro. I’m sorry I never have patience for these characters T_T. I love reading your thoughts on him though and that constrast between his strength of character to Kagiha’s weakness is so good!

    HIKAGE. BEST BOY. Regarding the sprites, I think they just didn’t want to bother with making more resources for Hikage to have a different real-sprite :’D so maybe we’re supposed to pass it off as him just looking kinda close to Kazuya. T-There can be similar-looking people around in the world, right? |D His hair looks a bit flatter and doesn’t have the ear/horns that Kazuya has!

    Omg, you’re right about the other guys… I got so caught up in crying about Hikage that I forgot about them. It says that Beniyuri went alone to the mansion so maybe they woke up too and just put everything behind them? I’d imagine that after Hikage kills himself, they’d just have to piece together the kaleidoscope with Beniyuri’s fragment and then return to life. Unless, the interspace collapses without a master and forcibly ejects them all?

    Oh! I think that part about Hikage’s lies was mostly about how he felt like his whole life was a lie. That nothing about him was real because he just reflected whatever people wanted to see. The only person he was “real” around was his sister but in the end he even lied to her :((. Or at least, he felt like he did.

    Woops, totally didn’t mean to write this much. Anyway, I’m so glad you got to experience this game <33 will you be looking at Haitaka Psychedelica too?

    Liked by 1 person

    • OOPS NVM about my other comment, you already read this post ;;;

      BUT YES I WAS DECEIVED WHOLE-HEARTEDLY. LOL at least you had a semblance of a hunch, so kudos to you! Woah our biases ARE pretty much the opposite (with the exception of Hikage)! I love seeing that happen, because again people can have totally different experiences from the same game and that’s always super cool.

      See while I tend to love tsunderes, Yamato didn’t quite strike up too high as a fave ;; but agreed about loving the theme of his route! Since you mentioned the LN you’re translating, I should definitely give that a look some time considering how much you seem to love it ❤

      Okay now that you said that about Kagiha's selfishness in Monshiro's route, I have to admit you're right. His character did need that extra push. Now I'm left wanting to see more of his "darkness" and gradual downfall, but I guess we did get enough. However, it makes me wish the game had somehow showed us how deeply changed Kagiha had become after his time in the mansion BEFORE the scene where he sacrificed himself (in the best end) – it would have added more resonance to his sacrifice (where we see him truly "letting go" of his deeply-seated selfishness and then moving on to the selfless person he was before). Even though we can still realize this in retrospect, it certainly would have added more oomph to the scene imo.

      Ahh that certainly clears things up about Hikage's lies, thank you! As for Haitaka, if you end up covering it, I'll definitely order it! But whatever you blog is totally up to you! Honestly, I'm pretty sure I'll get whatever game you blog about next LMAO. And this time, I'll like the posts as you play versus liking a million of them all at once haha

      Like

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